Vlog 3 -Anxiety Management toolkit & Prioritising

 

Welcome to the third blog in this series of entrepreneurial autistic. Over the last couple of blogs I spoke about my journey of starting a pet sitting business and some of the things I was working on.
At the moment Im preparing for a busy period with christmas coming up. I have also enrolled and have started a business course.
In this blog I will be talking about my
Anxiety and Meltdown Management toolkit

and prioritising

My Anxiety and Meltdown Management toolkit was developed because I had a particullary bad couple of weeks in which my meltdowns were frequent and intense. It was not good for me or my loved ones. 
It lists the things that make me feel stressed and anxious and the positive ways to deal with them. 
I’ll go through some of ones I’ve been working on 
 
One of the things makes me feel stressed or anxious is unplanned interruptions and lack of routine
With the business I get a lot of incoming calls. Although this is good because some of those calls are from prospective clients it also causes me stress. A positive way to deal with this has been to change my voicemail message so that it encourages prospective clients to leave an enquiry through the website. I also have a time slot allocated at the end of the day to checking my voice mail. 
 
Another thing that makes me feel stressed and anxious is perfectionism. ways i can deal with this is to remind myself that it is ok to make mistakes and to get feedback from my clients to get positive reinforcement for the good work I am doing. 
 
The other thing that causes me stress is communicating with others. 
I cope much better with visual communication opposed to verbal communication which is why im working towards limiting the amount of verbal when working with customers. As well as encouraging both prospect and active clients to email me through my website i am also working with a customer relationship management application which allows people to log in to their own portal to fill in their information prior to me visiting them and they can also go in at other times to update their details. This is useful as previously during client meetings when I would visit their home to go over our arrangements I would be walking around with them quickly taking notes while they are telling me instructions which I found the information difficult to process. 
 
I will now go on to talking about prioritising
I was finding that I was overwhelmed with all the things I had going on in my head of all the things I needed to do. I have been trying the eisenhower matrix as a way to help prioritise. For those of you that aren’t familiar with this tool it is categorising what you need to do into four areas which are 
  1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
  2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
  3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
  4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate)
 Im still working on how to use this tool and am finding I am only putting things in the urgent and important and the important but not urgent. Maybe its my black and white thinking but I can’t get my head around what could be urgent but not important and i also consider all the tasks i need to do as important so don’t see the need for neither urgent nor important.
 
Thats all from me for this vlog. Hope you got something from it, please feel free to post comments and questions. questions or posts may help form the content for the next vlog or I can answer you personally. 
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Vlog 3 -Anxiety Management toolkit & Prioritising

Vlog 2

Hello, im Mia and this is the second vlog in this series. During the last vlog I gave a brief introduction about me, how I came to running my own business of pet sitting and the purpose of theses vlogs which is to share my learnings so that those of us that are Autistic and running a business or interested in running a business may benefit.

Where im at the moment, am working with an autism employment specialist  and my business mentor and am I’m feeling excited as to how our combined expertise can assist in the development of running a successful business with being Austisic. I’ve just survived my first peek period with it being school holidays and it gave me a better understanding of what aspects are in need of improvement and what works well. I’ve also started communication with another Autistic lady who runs a business similar to my own and can see how networking with others on the spectrum can benefit.

What I’ll be covering on this vlog

·      My strengths and how it relates to running my own business

·      time management and finding a balance

·      CRM and feedback

Ill also touch upon things that will ill focusing on in the upcoming vlogs

Its can be easy to get lost in the things that I have challenges with but I find its important to recognise the strengths I have and work them to my advantage. I have some core strengths that are important with being an entrepreuner.

The first on on my list is Dedication – I have a commitment to make this business work and bring an enthusiasm to the industry I’m in.

Persistence – Sometimes the amount of effort I put in verses the money I generate from the business doesn’t balance. However I’m persistent in continuing on and finding better ways of doing things

Need for achievement – What ever I have done I have always have a need for achievement and this fuels me to keep improving my practice.

Autononmy, – I may struggle to work in teams but I work really well automously. Which is good when you are a sole trader and need to do all the stuff a business requires of you yourself.

Self-efficacy – I have the belief in my ability to complete tasks in order to run a successful petcare business.

So you’ve heard about some of my strengths now ill talk about

time management and finding a balance 

I so need to strengthen this area. I can easily get caught up researching about dogs for hours on end or pick out a problem that I obsess to get the perfect solution at the expense of all the other stuff that needs to be done. At the moment I use google calendars that syncs with my phone. I’m currently looking into a yearly planner so I can see everything I’m doing for the year.  I’m a visual person and because with google calendars I can only see my events for a month at a time its like I’m operating month by month and struggle with thinking beyond the timeframe of a month. This impacts on my ability to plan forward. At the moment my criteria for a year planner would be able to sync with my google calendar and also of no cost.

The autism employement specialist brought the issue of finding a balance. I get obsessive about things and the business can easily take up all my time and energy. I have been operating by sustained work on the business only until my body starts crashing then I take a break until I feel well again then repeat the cycle. She brought up the need to schedule in me time. Me time at the moment looks like watching documentaries on my laptop.

Another thing ive been working on is CRM and feedback

I had a bit of a look around for Customer relationship management software. A lot of it cost and I am not currently in a situation where I could afford paying for something so I am going to make do with syncing documents between my laptop and my phone so I have access to my clients information when im out and about. I would like a click to call function, ill keep working on it. Another strategy was the use of a checklist when dealing with a client from start to finish of the service. I have this set up and am able to easily do this from my phone or laptop.

I understood the need for a way for customers to provide feedback so that it have help guide my practice but I wasn’t sure how I was going to go about this so it was suggested I create a survey online and send clients an email a link to the survey at the end of the service.  I have created this and will implement this with my next client.

Whats going Upcoming vlogs

Given that I was only diagnosed last year I don’t know all that much about Autism and how it effects my strengths and support needs.  However this will develop as I continue my learning journey. I hope to learn more about.

Organisational and time management more

Managing anxiety and stress

Developing skills for running a business such as:

a.     Customer service

b.    Being professional

c.     Using technology in a meaningful way

Thankyou for taking the time of watching and I hope that you got something from it.

Vlog 2

Introduction

Hello, I’m Mia. I’ll be doing a series of vlogs to share my journey of running my own business and Autism. A bit about me, I was diagnosed at 32. I’m 33 years of age now. I live in Sunraysia which is located in northwestern Victoria and southwestern New South Wales in Australia. I’m a single parent of a 15 year old daughter. I have a good support system which include family and friends, social worker, disability worker, disability employment service worker, I’m engaged with NSW public mental health, I’ve got a business mentor from a community based non for profit organisation.

A bit about my business now. I look after peoples animals while they are away, I also do dog walking and ill be starting a pet taxi service. How did I come to this business? I did six years of teaching and at the end of it I became really unwell and was hospitalised with an acute psychosis. After that I did a bit more teaching but I was having a good look and think around my lifestyle and what would keep me well and out of hospital so I decided to take a step out from teaching and I went into running a family day care business from home. I chose this because I enjoyed working with children and it gave me a routine where as before where as before at the end of it I was doing a lot of casual relief teaching and a lot of the time I didn’t know what I was doing from day to day. So during that year when I was doing family day care I also sought an assessment for Autism spectrum so I went and got my assessment and I met the criteria. So that provided me with a bit more of an understanding of how I operate and my strengths and some of my weaknesses and I came up to the realisation that family day care wasn’t a suitable fit for me for a lot of factors. So I dissolved that business and I was going through a period of looking intently for work and nothing was really coming up so I thought id start another business. I reengaged with my business mentor that I had when I was doing family day care and we had a sit down, had a talk and one of the ideas that I brought to the table was visiting peoples places to look after their animals while they’re away. This idea came about from my mother had recently looked after her friends families animals while they were away and they gave her some money for her time and for petrol so I saw that there was possibly a need within my community for that type of service and I also used to own a dog and I was really obsessive about my dog and I absolutely love dogs. So that was the reasoning behind coming up to that Idea of the pet sitting. My business mentor gave me some homework to go away with to look into it a bit further to make that decision whether or not to pursue it, I did and I pursued it and that’s what I’m doing now. I’ve been trading since March and at the moment I’m averaging about 1 – 2 client visits a day and I’m really enjoying it but I’m facing a few a challenges along the way as well which I wont go into too much on this vlog. So I’ll be vlogging regularly over this six months, its hoped that these vlogs may assist those on the spectrum who are contemplating or are already running their own business. I’ll also be working with a specialist in employment and Autism starting this month so it will be interesting to see that leads and obviously ill share that with you guys. So hopefully there’s a section on here after the vlogs where you can comment and/or post questions so please do and I’ll respond to them either through comments or in the next vlog. So yeah that’s it for this first vlog and stay tuned for the next installment. Ok , bye.

Introduction